Buddies – Théo Bignon
Exhibition: September 8 to October 14, 2023
Vernissage and artist-guided tour: September 14 at 6 pm
Art Hive with the artist (part of Journées de la culture): September 30, 10:30 am to 1 pm
Zine launch with Alex Tigchelaar: October 14, 5 to 7 pm
Buddies is an exhibition that celebrates and interrogates the gay bar as a space where queer bodies exist and resist. Perfect remedy to the individualism of our late capitalist societies and to the latent bigotry of our times, these bars operate for many as a space of multiple possibilities: a space where we share a collective experience, where we dance, flirt and more, but also where we can organize and evolve in an environment deprived from heteronormative expectations.
Théo Bignon presents a series of hand-embroidered works and objects based on his memories and histories of sites of gay gathering and cruising. This body of work maps, abstracts and re-presents these various sites in flawed and shimmering textiles where the act of stitching is used as a tool for recollection as well as subversive decorative interventions. Throughout the gallery, a narrow drink rail evokes the liminal space where glasses lay, bodies lean and here, where artwork rests.
Théo Bignon is a French artist living and working in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal), whose work investigates the intersections of desire, ornamentation and queer existence. His work has been exhibited internationally including Villa Noailles (Hyères, France), The Hive Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Site (Brooklyn, NY), Bunker Projects (Pittsburgh, PA), Salon LB (Chicago) and WhatiftheWorld Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa). His research has been published in the journal Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion and Catalyst: Casual Encounters and is one of the recipients of the 2023 ARTCH Emerging Artist Grant. Théo is also one of the three co-founders and co-organizers of Abstract Lunch, a grassroots artist-run curatorial project emphasizing experimentation and play. He holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from Sciences Po Paris.
McClure Gallery thanks the Conseil des arts de Montréal for its financial support.